Redundancy leads to discontinuation of pet permits

Pet permits are no longer necessary for on-campus students.

Residence Life cancelled the requirement after repeated problems.

According to Residence Life rules, the only pets allowed in the residence halls are those that can be kept in a 10-gallon glass tank, at most.

These include fish, turtles, hamsters, mice, gerbils, small guinea pig, iguanas, lizards and hermit crabs.

Before, the College required students to obtain permits to keep a pet in their rooms.

The permit was placed on the tank where it could be seen by the Community Advisor (CA), should he or she come to inspect a student’s room.

If the permit could not be found, the student was required to remove the pet from the campus.

Kelly Wilson, junior English secondary education major, brought her hamster to the College last year.

The permit was an agreement that she would care for it properly.

Wilson said, however, that the regulations were never enforced.

“A Guide To Residence Living” gives students permission to have pets.

The policy also required extra unnecessary paperwork if an illegal pet was found.

“It seemed silly because if (students) are allowed to have the pet, why have the permit?” John Stafford, director of Residence Life, said.

Stafford also said that many students did not put the permit on the tank. Because of this, CAs were unable to find evidence of the student having registered the pet.

Several students who previously took their chances with unregistered pets are happy about the change.

“I used to have to sneak around when playing with my pet Stewie,” Jeff Wang, senior biology major, said. “I would have to turn out the lights or hide under my covers. Now, without pet permits, I can even play with him in broad daylight (although he’s sensitive to the sun.)”

Gina Brown, freshman psychology major, owns a beta fish which she keeps in a tank in her residence hall room.

“I think it’s better that they got rid of (the permit) because it’s a hassle,” Brown said.

“Most people aren’t going to bring anything that’s not dorm-room safe because they don’t want to take care of it,” Brown added.

Wilson said she is happy that she did not have to go through the hassle of filling out the paperwork for her hamster this year.

However, she said the permit could have proved useful.

“If they were going to check on the animal, it would be good, but since they don’t, (the permit is) not necessary,” she said.

Certain animals remain restricted.

These pets include cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, chinchillas, snakes and birds.

The only students who may keep pets on campus other than the ones mentioned in the handbook, are those with seeing-eye dogs.

According to Stafford, students with medical needs are dealt with separately to meet their individual necessities.

Other restrictions for students with pets say that students may not bring wire cages into the residence halls.

These are deemed unsanitary and unsafe. Instead, the animal must remain in its glass tank at all times except during cleaning of the cage.

Students with illegal pets must remove them immediately.